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Grafica della Strada | Louise Fili, Debbie Millman | Design and Style Series Event


FREE - Auditorium doors open at 5:30 p.m.

For more than two decades, renowned graphic designer and self-described Italophile Louise Fili has traveled the cities and countryside of Italy cataloging the work of sign craftsmen in whose hands type takes on new life with a tantalizing menu of styles.

Join Louise Fili as she shows off some of her favorite inspirations and signs: classical, eclectic, and Futurist; in gold leaf, marble, brass, wood, wrought iron, enamel, ceramic, and neon; painted, carved, inlaid, etched, tiled, and stenciled. Following the presentation, Debbie Millman (Design Matters) converses with Fili.


Grafica della Strada: The Signs of Italy (Princeton Architectural Press, 2014) is Fili’s photographic diary of hundreds of Italy’s most inventive restaurant, shop, hotel, street, and advertising signs. A major influence on Fili’s own work, many of these marvels of vernacular design live on solely in this book, a typographic love letter to Italy that will be an inspiration to designers and Italophiles everywhere. 

Copies of the book are available for purchase and signing after audience Q&A at the end of event.

Born of Italian parents, Louise Fili travels obsessively to Europe, particularly Italy and France, where she collects design inspiration of all kinds, photographing shop signage, combing flea markets, and collecting food packaging. After eleven years as art director of Pantheon Books, where Fili designed thousands of book jackets, she founded her design studio in 1989, focusing on her three loves: food, type, and all things Italian. Fili specializes in restaurant identities and food packaging, and has collaborated with her husband, Steven Heller, on over a dozen design books. She is a member of the Art Directors Hall of Fame and is the recipient of the AIGA Medal for Lifetime Achievement.

Debbie Millman is President of the design division at Sterling Brands. She has been there for 18 years and in that time she has worked on the redesign of over 200 global brands, including projects with P&G, Colgate, Nestle, Kraft and Pepsi. Debbie is President Emeritus of AIGA, the largest professional association for design in the world. She is a contributing editor at Print Magazine and Co-Founder and Chair of the world's first Masters in Branding Program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. In 2005, she began hosting, Design Matters, the first podcast about design on the Internet. In 2011, the show was awarded a Cooper Hewitt National Design Award. She is the author of six books on design and branding. Last year, an exhibition of her visual essays debuted at the Chicago Design Museum.

Conceived and organized by Arezoo Moseni and in its fourth year, Design and Style is a series of events featuring discussions and presentations by leading professionals in the various design fields.